The Acoustic Blues Sound Of Muddy Waters

April 4th marks the birthday of legendary bluesman, McKinley Morganfield… AKA Muddy Waters. Having listened to many of his original recordings, and even more by other artists who have recorded his songs, my style and the style of most blues guitarists has been shaped by Muddy… either directly or passed down through others. The following…

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Pinetop Perkins (1931 – 2011)

Blues music lost one of its founding fathers when Pinetop Perkins passed away at his home in Austin, Texas on March 21, 2011. Perkins was the oldest musician to ever win a Grammy when he won the Lifetime Achievement award in 2005. While my blog is generally limited to guitarists, blues music is such an…

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Playing A Song Vs. Arranging A Song

If you play guitar, at some point someone has come up to you and said something like, “Oh, you play guitar? Can you play me a song?” At which point a lot of us do one of 2 things: A) We play them some riff to a song we know or B) We try to…

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Play Like Clapton – No Talent Required

The other night I was playing Rock Band with my wife and kids… it’s our version of “family time” these days. It’s addictive… and what makes it work for me is I’m a “wannabe” drummer. I always wanted to play drums as a kid, but I couldn’t because they were “too loud” or something similar.…

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New To Me (and that doesn’t happen every day)

So in yesterday’s post I was talking about increasing your skill and technique so that you can lean on it “in the head of battle” so to speak. Often in music, and particularly in blues music, technique almost becomes a dirty word. But if we are truly students of our instrument, we need to take…

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Skill Is Not A 4 Letter Word

Stop for a minute and think about some of the coolest concerts you’ve ever seen… The roar of the crowd… even in a small venue (even more so really) the energy is totally off the charts. Now think about the guy up on that stage giving it all he’s got… do you think he’s got…

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Blues Lead Guitar

The folks over at Guitar World have released their 2010 edition of Blues Lead Guitar in a free, digital format. http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newbay/blues_leadguitar2010/ In particular, I like the Robben Ford lessons and the discussion of SRV’s gear 🙂 Enjoy!

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Why Improvising… Isn’t

SPOILER ALERT: I’m going to give away a “secret” (though I hate to call it that) of improvising (soloing) today. If you still want to live in your little bubble and believe that all those cool notes just flow out of the ether and magically through the hands of your blues idols, you’ll want to…

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Those Ugly Internet Tabs…

As a private guitar teacher, I’ve gone through probably over a thousand internet tabs personally… both for students and with students. To date, not a single one has been completely accurate… not encouraging. But learning songs and increasing the number of songs you can play is an important part of getting better and being better…

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Blues Rhythm Lesson – 2 Note Easy Chords

I’ve often heard it said that “kids should be seen and not heard.” It’s an old saying that I’m going to change to “rhythm guitarists should be barely heard when a solo is going on.” With inexperienced players getting together you get a lot of people all playing loud enough that they can be heard…

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